22 September 2007

I can't get no spinal traction

Actually, it appears that I can. With any luck, insurance -- crossed fingers -- will cover most of the cost of this dee-luxe home traction machine.

When the osteoarthritis in my neck worsened a couple of months ago, I went back to my Jewell of a physical therapist, and we experimented with several traction devices, including a couple of dinkier and far less effective models. The relief, after a few minutes hooked up to this baby, was immediate and dramatic. I've always had expensive tastes.

The machine works like a bicycle pump, basically, extending a cylinderattached to the underside of a metal arm attached, in turn, to one's roped-down skull. I lock it in between 10 and 15 pounds of pressure and lie still, oblivious to distractions such as the one shown here, for about 10 minutes. After a short time my neck no longer feels like any force is being exerted on it, but at the end of the session, when I turn the valve to "release" and gravity takes over again, it's clear that I've been in traction.

The result of the neck-stretching is a lovely feeling of space where the pain used to be. The relief typically lasts for several hours. Traction also relieves the burning sensation in my feet -- those cervical nerves travel a long way -- that I sometimes experience after neck-crunching activities like cleaning house, gardening, stargazing, or prolonged standing and walking. What's cool is that I can factor in a traction session after doing chores I know will stress my neck.

The things that excite us these days; it's pathetic, I know. Plus I realize that I've just given up any last shred of sex appeal I might have retained up to this point. Although there are undoubted weirdos out there for whom this sort of thing holds some attraction.


Jerry said...

There is one expert that the blogster did not confer with relative to her sex appeal. Too bad -- I could have corrected her perceptions in this regard.

Gerrie said...

I hope it works because it looks like a torture device!! I love how interested your cat is in all of this. Anyway, it is good that you found some relief.